On May 9, 1960, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first commercially available birth control pill. It was initially commissioned by Margaret Sanger and funded by heiress Katherine McCormick. McCormick opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in 1916.
From the History channel website:
“In the early 1950s, Gregory Pincus, a biochemist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, and John Rock, a gynecologist at Harvard Medical School, began work on a birth-control pill. Clinical tests of the pill, which used synthetic progesterone and estrogen to repress ovulation in women, were initiated in 1954. On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the pill, granting greater reproductive freedom to American women.”
Activist Margaret Sanger was the first one to coin the term “birth control.” The birth control clinic was the precursor to Planned Parenthood. In 1951, she convinced endocrinologist Gregory Pincus to develop a pill to prevent pregnancy. He tested the hormone progesterone in rats and finds that it works.
In 1952, he tested the hormone progesterone in rats and finds that it works. He met with a gynecologist, John Rock, who had already begun testing a chemical contraception in women. In 1953, McCormick wrote Pincus a $40,000 check to conduct research into synthetic progesterone to prevent pregnancy. The pill was approved for severe menstrual disorders in 1957 but wasn’t approved for contraception until 1960.
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